Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Zebra print french tips

Happy Tuesday! Hope you're all having a good week so far. I got off to a good start this week by going to get my nails infilled at my local Nails 2 Nails, and decided i'd keep to the animal print theme as I love it so much :) As you can see, I went for the zebra print and it's extremely simple for you all to do at home:
Use a black nail art brush/pen (Or even a liquid eyeliner as I sometimes use!) and paint four stripes, two either side of the nail, slightly curving into one another.
Then use a silver glitter nail art brush to trace the lines in the gaps between the four black lines.
Simple! Zebra print nails :)

They're absolutely gorgeous and i'm already trying to think of my next design!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Benefit's 'Hervana' Blush Has Landed!

Hope you've all had a great week and are enjoying a nice relaxing Sunday (I however, have to work!). I've had a busy first week back at uni. I've been made Sub-Editor of Features at my university newspaper and have started new units, with one being about how to 'blog like a pro' so hopefully this blog will see some improvements in the near future.

I've had my eye on this blush ever since I saw the video pop-up on Benefit website. I'd read on various forums that it would be on sale nationwide from yesterday, so I knew I had to get my hands on it right away! However, when I went to my local Benefit counter they said they'd been a bit naughty and had been selling it from Monday as they got the stock in early .. So I could have done an exclusive review!

So here it is in all it's gorgeous glory:

This is by far the most attractive packaging on a blush - if not the entire Benefit make-up collection - that i've seen! The pastel pinks and angelic clouds compliment the name 'Hervana' (A combination of 'Her' and 'Nirvana'). This is the ultimate girly make-up product: It's compact, subtle and pretty. There is also the same amount of blush in the box as any other Benefit blush; the packaging has just decreased in size - perfect to squeeze into my bulging make-up bag!
I'm loving the new packaging as it opens to reveal a small mirror for applying on the go, and you don't have to lift the lid off the blush like you do with most of Benefit's blushes:

What's great about this blush is the amount of different colours that are used to make the satin-y pink colour. Benefit has compiled four complimentary shades that are mixed together when you use the uniquely shaped brush to swirl around the palette:

Lucky Shell, Devine Peach, Heavenly Rose and Berry Delight - all mixed together make Benefit's 'Good karma face powder'.

I found this product pretty hard to swatch unless it's swatched heavily, which I didn't want to do because realistically it's a subtle pink powder that you're only supposed to apply spearingly to your cheeks, so here is the colour on the brush:

As you can see the end result is pink with a hint of peach, which is perfect for adding a flush of colour to your cheeks. It's perfect for day wear and adds a glow without looking too orange.
I was also told by the shop assistant who sold it to me that the individual shades can be used as eyeshadow's aswell, so there's four more colours to add to my collection! This has definately overtaken my previous day-wear Blush 'Dandelion' (Also by Benefit!). I'd recommend purchasing ASAP, it's already selling out fast!

Use the curved brush to blend together the four shades and sweep over your cheekbones. The best way to apply to the apples of your cheeks is to smile whilst applying :)

Benefit's Hervana retails at £23.50 and can be bought online here or at your local Benefit counter.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Review: MAC's 190 Foundation Brush!

Hello! So i'm back at University, getting back into the swing of things and preparing for a law essay that I need to write another 700 words for by next Friday so really I shouldn't have really gone into town and bought a new makeup brush, but I did.
I have previously used an Ecotools brush that I got part of a set, but it was actually a concealer brush and it was quite low quality. Even by cleaning the brushes regularly it would still leave my foundation actually clumping on my face and leaving streaks. So after watching some makeup tutorials on Youtube and noticing that everyone seemed to be using Mac brushes I decided to invest in this one:

Mac says: "A professional-class foundation brush designed to create an even finish and a flawless look."

I cannot get enough of this brush. The soft fibre bristles allow you to pick up the right amount of foundation and it just glides onto your face and it is so easy to blend. The rounded tip allows the foundation to be applied into hard to reach areas such as round the eyes etc, and the application time took a matter of seconds! I cannot wait to invest in other MAC brushes, if they are half as good as this one they will be in my grasp as soon as possible! It's almost as if I have a brand new foundation aswell. With this brush my MAC Studio Fix Fluid looks light and natural, leaving my skin feeling smooth and flawless, where as my previous brush left my skin feeling blocked and the foundation felt quite thick as it wasn't even distributed.

To apply, put a small amount of foundation on the back of your hand and gently dip the brush in (You do not need alot!), and blend the foundation down your cheek and just below your jaw line by using outward circular motions, followed by around the eye. Work your way to the other side of your face, leaving a small amount of foundation for the nose and chin. Ensure the foundation is blended properly below the jaw line to ensure that your face isn't a different colour to your neck!
I seriously recommend this brush, I simply cannot fault it.

MAC's 190 Foundation Brush retails at £26, and can be purchased here on at your nearest MAC counter.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Review: Benefit's 'They're Real!' Mascara

I know what you're all thinking: "Not another Benefit review!" But..whatever!
Today i'm reviewing Benefit's 'They're Real!', the newest Benefit mascara. I was hesitant to try this at first because i've been so used to using Benefit's BADgal mascara, and it's worked so well for me. But after my regular browse at my local Benefit counter, I decided to let the sales assistant put some on me! From then on, I was hooked.
First of all, it looks like the queen of all mascaras in its appearance. It's sleek, shiny and modern, with a lengthy brush handle and a comes in a gorgeous packaging that also demonstrates the product on a model:

The statistics and photographs on the packaging are not normally found on Benefit products; it seems as though Benefit swear by this mascara so much that they must prove it at a customers first glance of the product.

Another unique feature of this mascara is the wand. To be honest I always think to myself: "How many ways can you shape a mascara wand? Don't they all do the same thing?" But in this case, the specially designed brush has a circular end so you can pull the lashes up and seperate them vertically, which is something I have never seen before.

When applying, it recommends that you wiggle the brush horizontally from base to tip to ensure an even coverage. However, I also like to apply a layer by holding the brush close to the lashes and blinking so that the wand coats the ashes evenly. From then, you hold the brush vertically and use the curved end to seperate the lashes and to coat hard to reach areas such as lashes close to your inner eye or smaller lower lashes. Here is a before and after:

As you can see, my lashes are now jet-black, and double the length. By using the brush, I spread out the lashes evenly and it really enhanced the colour of my eyes. It's so easy to apply and is also smudge-proof, so I don't have to be worried every time I rub my eyes! Since I purchased this product, I have not worn another mascara. This can be worn both during the day and when going out at night. It's easy to layer, so I just add a few coats when I want my eyes to look fuller and even thicker. Only one application a day is needed - no top ups necessary, which means you'll get more for your money.

Unfortunately it isn't waterproof and only comes in black, but I am optomistic that, like BADgal, other colours will be available.

Benefit's 'They're Real!' mascara retails at £18.50 for a 8.5g tube.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Review: Benefit's 'Confessions of a Concealaholic' Concealer kit!

Due to a hectic work schedule and deadlines etc. it's taken me about a month to review this kit that has been my make-up staple since the day I got it. It's Benefit's 'Confessions of a Concealaholic' - 'Your secret concealing & brightening kit'. When I first recieved it as a christmas present I thought it would be one of those makeup sets that you only whip out once or twice when you fancy experimenting, but I literally cannot get enough of this amazing selection of Benefit products.
It includes everything you need for beautifully flawless skin:

  • "That Gal" - Brightening face primer
  • Erase Paste (No.2 Medium) - Brightening camoflage for eyes & face
  • Boi-ing 01 and Boi-ing 02 - Industrial-strength concealer
  • Lemon Aid - Colour correcting eyelid primer
  • Eye Bright - Instant eye brightener

The kit also comes with two double ended brushes, with each end labelled with the product that it is used for, which makes application even easier.

What I want to mention quickly is the packaging .. it looks like a storybook :) You open up the 'first page' and inside there is a mirror and instruction booklet, and comes with a sort of slip that goes over the top of the kit to stop it opening. This is really Benefit down to a tee - Beautifully packaged and as fun and inventive as the products themselves.

So basically i'm going to show you different stages in applying the parts of the kit. When applying the different products to my eyes, they will be applied to the right side, so you can see the difference:

1. No make up. I am aware that this is a horrible picture of me. I am aware that I have lots of spots right now, it's just lovely! But I wanted to do this straight after I woke up when I usually have bags under my eyes and I thought it would be more effective as a concealer review to show how it conceals blemished skin.

2. "That Gal" Primer. The primer is the first part of the kit, as a primer is a perfect base for the rest of the kit (and all makeup to be honest!), but it can also be worn alone. Accourding to Benefit: "Our silky pink primer takes your complexion from dull to darling! Simply smooth on for the look of brighter, smoother skin."

As you can see the silky pink primer has brightened my skin and toned down some of the redness on my nose and cheeks. It comes in a 7.5ml tube, which doesn't seem like much but a little really does go a long way. It's also perfect handbag size for touch up's throughout the day. I just use a pea-size amount on each cheek and around my t-zone, and then about half the size for my nose and chin, blending it into the skin in a outwards circular motion.

3. Erase Paste. The next stage in applying the concealer kit is the 'camoflage paste' for the eyes and face. I have used it on the right eye (In which I have also applied the next part of the kit as I forgot to photograph this part alone, oops!). As you can see, the purple bags underneath have been reduced and my eye actually looks wider. When applying the paste, it's really easy to just dunk the brush in and sweep it underneath the eye, but the paste is more liquid-like than the name suggests, so you really only need to use the tip of the brush, and then dot it underneath the eye. You then use your finger to blend the dots of paste, concealing your dark circles.

4. Lemon Aid. This works as the perfect base for eyeshadow, and really brightens your eyes. It's a bit strange because it appears yellow in this picture and is bright yellow before you blend it in, but it really does look natural and eliminates the fact that i've been up for about 10 minutes. The one problem with this particular product is that it's such a small amount (0.9 g) so I think it won't be long until I have to purchase the full-sized product. It is applied all over the lid and can also be applied up to the brow. Use the allocated brush and then blend with your fingertips.

5. Boi-ing. The next part of the kit i'll show you is the Boi-ing 'Industrial Strength' concealer. One of the greatest parts of the kit is that it has both 01 & o2, meaning you can blend the two and create your own unique concealer shade to match your skin tone. However, I am so pale that I don't need to blend the two so I use the lightest shade, 01. Using the allocated brush, it is dotted onto the blemished areas and patted in with your finger. It immediately reduces the redness, and with my powder on top I am assured that my spots are fully concealed.

6. Eye Bright. This is what I would recommend using at the end of the kit, and if anything the end of applying all of your makeup. Described as "A coffee break in a stick", the 0.9 g mini palette is the perfect brightener that is applied to the inner and outer corners of your eyes with the brush and blended.

Tada! This is my finished make up for the day :) After the concealer kit had been applied, I finished off my makeup with some powder, eyeliner pencil and mascara. I can safely say that 'Confessions of a Concealaholic' makes it look like i've been up for hours, not minutes.
I don't need to say much more, I believe the photographs speak for themselves. It retails at £28.50, which is such a bargain as the full-sized products are so much more expensive if bought separately.

Click here to visit the Benefit website. Trust me, this is a make up kit you want to be using!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Leopard Print French Tips + Uni Update!

Hi all :) Hope everyone's having fun settling back in to uni or their normal routine after the Christmas break! I've had a fair few days of stress and hard work, balancing University work with working basically full-time. Today I had to do a presentation and hand in a huge portfolio, and I am so exhausted. We've also put down the booking fee for a really nice 9 bedroom house, but once that's been sorted i'll go into more detail.

I thought i'd show you all my new leopard print nails that I got done yesterday :) I went to a place called Nails 2 Nails in my city centre, and spent £25 getting acrylics and choosing whatever pattern I want! I chose french tips because they're simple and classy, but couldn't resist having some leopard spots over the top! The whole process took 30 minutes, which was insanely quick! I now know that i'd be able to go get my nails done on my lunch break without being worried about being pushed for time :)

Next time I get infills I fancy another pattern, any ideas?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Benefit's 'Glitz Glam and Gloss' Lipgloss Swatches!

Hi guys! Sorry it's been a while since I posted. I've been working alot and doing uni work in-between shifts and on my days off. But here's one of my favourite Christmas presents.. The limited edition Benefit 'Glitz Glam and Gloss' Lipgloss set! I've checked online, and Benefit currently are not stocking it, but places like ASOS and various shops on Ebay still do :)
95% of my makeup is Benefit. I cannot praise it enough! The packaging, the quality, the scent .. I shop at my local Benefit counter so often that the sales assistants actually know my name (Don't know if that's a good or a bad thing!)!
So here they are:

The set consists of six double ended double ended tubes, each with two complimentary lipgloss shades that you can either wear alone or together. The glosses each have gorgeous pigmentation.. they're so shimmery and definitely draw me in. The set includes the following shades:

  • Friends in high places - Sparkling Raspberry
  • Kiss you - Clear fuchsia
  • Almost famous - Copper penny
  • Zone out - Golden nude
  • I'm with the band - Golden pink shimmer
  • Fresh-squeezed - Pink Grapefruit

I have to say that out of these two shades, 'Kiss You' is defintely my least favourite. I can imagine for someone with a darker skin tone than mine would really like it, but I love more pastel colours. 'Friends in high places' is a shade that I would wear either going out or possibly even at a semi-formal event such as a meal at a restaurant or something, as it is a nice transitional shade that you could get away with wearing both during the day and whilst out on a night out.

'I'm with the band' is the shade that I have worn most since i've had this set. It's the most subtle but yet still has a slight shimmer which adds a little something extra to my day-to-day makeup. When I go out i'll mix it with the slightly darker 'Fresh Squeezed'.

These two shades are sort of a question mark for me, because I really wouldn't choose them for myself. I would definetly go for 'Zone out', because you can never go wrong with nude, and on my lips it is quite transparent so it goes nice if you want to be in the middle of a coloured and clear gloss. However, i'm not a fan of the 'Almost Famous'. It looks gorgeous in the tube but i'm yet to find a make-up look that compliments that colour on my skin - Being so pale is irritating!

At least one of these tubes have been in my bag everyday since Christmas day, and once i've finished with this set i'm tempted to try Benefit's 'All You Need Is Gloss' set (Which also includes 'I'm with the band' and 'Almost famous'!). We'll have to see :)

This set retails between £12.50-£19.50 depending on the shop, which I think is excellent value for the diverse range of colours you get. And they all come in a slim box with a sliding outside cover, which is nothing short of gorgeous.


Monday, 2 January 2012

My Newest Pandora Charm

Happy new year guys!!

Hope everyone had amazing holidays and got everything they wished for! Just thought i'd show you all my christmas present to myself, as i've been working so hard lately :)

I love Pandora. It started becoming quite popular where i'm from in around 2010 when a shop opened up in Southampton, but I know it was known before that. Inside the shop there are hundreds of charms lined in trays that you can pick up and try on with various bracelets. I got my sterling silver bracelet as a bridesmaids present, but they range from about £50-£75 depending on whether you buy silver or other kinds, such as the leather or 'friendship bracelet' type.

I was originally going to save the charms for special occasions. For example, my dad bought me a little silver stack of books charm for when I passed my A-Levels, and my best friend bought me a 'Love Hope and Faith' one for when I was going off to University. But to be honest, I can't wait for special occasions like birthdays etc. because they're too far apart! So I thought i'd take it upon myself to add to my collection.

My newest charm is part of the many coloured class charms that come in several colours and various patterns within it. It cost £35 (Pandora didn't have a January sale - Annoying!) and is gorgeous purple and pink .. purple being my favourite colour!

I recommend you take a look at the Pandora website here - They have a virtual bracelet builder where you can create your own unique bracelet and then purchase it. It's so much fun!
So that was my christmas present to myself in 2011, what was yours? Because obviously we all deserve it ;)